Toxic chemicals and our hormones
Are you doing all the right things to balance your hormones; eating a nutrient dense diet, exercising, managing your stress, and you’re still having symptoms? You may be missing a big piece of the hormone balancing jigsaw! And that's minimizing your exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (or EDC's).
Endocrine disruptors are found in many everyday products, including some plastic bottles and containers, liners of metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, food, toys, cosmetics, and pesticides. Some endocrine-disrupting chemicals are slow to break-down in the environment. That characteristic makes them potentially hazardous over time.
Our genes play a huge part in how well we detoxify and some people can tolerate a huge number of toxins with no apparent effects. However for many of us, these chemicals can cause huge hormonal disruption.
As women, we are particularly at risk. Many of these EDC’s are in household and personal products, which we tend to be more exposed to than men. On top of that we have more hormones to detoxify, so our livers can be more stressed.
How do toxic chemicals affect our hormones?
Cortisol – by reducing the toxins around you, you’ll automatically reduce stress on your body. Cortisol loves toxins! So take them out and your body can relax more.
Insulin – toxic chemicals can damage the insulin receptors on your cells so that you have increased risk of insulin resistance and diabetes and obesity (some of these chemicals are also called ‘obesogens').
Thyroid – toxins can damage your thyroid gland, and contribute to symptoms including weight gain, fatigue, anxiety, brain fog, depression and much more.
Estrogen – getting rid of those fake estrogens can help balance your own estrogen. No more mutant estrogen messing up your cycle!
Examples of hormone disruptors
People can be exposed to hormone disruptors indoors and outdoors, at home and in the workplace. Hormone disruptors get into our bodies when we breathe, eat, drink and have skin contact with them. They can be found in household products such as cosmetics and plastic containers. They can come from industrial pollution and cigarette smoke. Some pesticides are hormone disruptors and can end up on our food and in our waterways. Below are a few examples of hormone disruptors. More research is needed to identify all hormone disruptors and their potential health impacts.
Ways to minimize exposure:
Minimizing exposure can be daunting but take things slow! start with the obvious - eliminating plastic, this is one of the most impactful changes you can make when it comes to reducing your exposure to hormone disruptors.
Also making easy swaps below is a good place to star too: Swapping plastic bags for material, plastic lunchboxes to glass containers, plastic water bottles to glass bottles, ziplock bags to console jars and non-stick cookware to cast iron, ceramic or stainless steel cookware.